Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Asian Vegetables Basket: Recipes and Tips For Basil

We are getting Asian theme vegetables basket from my local vegetables co-op this week. So here I am, writing, abandoning my half-worked garden because of my dear friend Melissa's order (I'm sorry, I have to give you a hard time :p). OK, the truth is, I have been working in the garden my much neglected and abandoned front yard mess for the pass two days, my arms and back are sore and I need a break. Thinking about food and gathering recipes is a good therapy. In fact, I do it so much (reading through blogs and blogs of Asian food blogs) my husband think us Asians are crazy(too obsess with our food) , he doesn't think Americans or Westernes, as us Asians will call them, write any food blog. Um, someone please tell him I am always right he is wrong and there is plenty of non-Asian food blogs.

OK, now you have do your duty I'll give you some recipes links. I have to start of with the Thai Basil. Basil is my favorite herb! You can do stir fry or eat them raw in a Vietname spring roll, or make basil pesto!
Here are some stir fry recipes links.

You can use any kind of meat, or no meat at all. Try tofu, or even eggplants. This is also a good way to use up your vegetables. You can also toss in the bean sprouts, peppers, snap peas, green onions, whatever that tickle your fancy. The main ingredients are garlic, onions, fish sauce and basil. If you have these, you are all good. The fish sauce sounds (and smells fishy), but it doesn't really taste fishy. But if you really  don't like the fish sauce it will be fine to be left out also, make sure you season it well with soy sauce. If you don't like your food to be salty, always start off with less than what the recipes suggest for how much soy sauce you need, you can always add more salt or soy sauce later. You can also omit the chili if you cannot take any heat, or if you are cooking for your munchkins, unless your little younglings are some fire-ball spitting or eating creatures, then it is up to you. We always spice ours up after I dish out my kids' portion with some good pepper oil we got from Whole Food. Eat it with jasmine rice.

Quick tips:
Whenever I come by a good meat sale, I buy for what is enough for few meals. Slice all of them up, marinate them in soy sauce, sesame oil, little bit of salt and sugar, divide them into few meals and freeze them. There is your quick dinner meals, just throw in vegetables! You can use them for any kind of Chinese stir-fry (beef and broccoli, anyone?). You can also add more seasoning to it after you thaw it.

Another good way to use basil is Vietnamese Spring Rolls!

Again, use any kind of meat or no meat at all. You can also use all kind of raw vegetables in spring rolls. Before we have kids that somehow are allergic to peanuts(it's a mystery that I will never solve, I thought since I am Chinese, I literally have peanuts in my blood, how can they be allergic to it?) we like to eat ours with roasted peanut. You can roll them up in your spring rolls, or sometime I pound or roll them to death grind them loosely in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, and put the ground nut in with the spring rolls. We love it! But sadly we try not to have too many nuts around in the house now, except nutty grandparents, we can't have enough of those! 

Next up, coconuts and watercress!
(P/S: No worry, coconuts are really not nuts! Although, how to open them might be a challenge and might drive you nut. )

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